Mumbai: Academicians, Activists and Journalists To Protests Against Unlawful Arrest of Anand Teltumbde and Others on Tuesday
The Pune court, terming Teltumbde's arrest illegal, has ordered his release.
Noted academicians, journalists and activists have called a protest against the recent arrests of Anand Teltumbde and other human rights activists on Tuesday, February 5, at Maharashtra Sadan in Mumbai at 2.30 pm.
Disregarding the Supreme Court’s order, the Pune police arrested Teltumbde on wee hours of Saturday from Mumbai airport. He was later released on Saturday afternoon. The SC had given him time till February 11 to approach the court for anticipatory bail.
In a joint press conference after Teltumbde’s release, Justice (retired) BG Kolse Patil spoke of uniting against communal forces and bringing the real perpetrators of the violence at Bhima-Koregaon Shambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote to justice. Commenting on the issue, advocate Vrinda Grover said that Teltumbde’s name was maliciously added and even though the interim protection accorded to him by the apex court, he was picked up at 3:30 am on Saturday and taken to the Pune Sessions Court. She further added that the disregard for the law by the Pune police is blatantly apparent. “Teltumbde’s house was raided when he wasn’t at home which in itself is illegal,” she said.
Human rights activist John Dayal condemned the prevalent arbitrary use of the law. Advocate Surendra Gadling’s partner Minal Gadling questioned if helping Dalits, Adivasis and workers can merely be cited as a reason for an arrest. She described how Surendra Gadling was harassed by IPS officer Ravindra Kadam and other police officials for standing up for the poor and downtrodden.
Stating that nonsensical accusation of being anti-national is the new norm, Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani quoted the example of Bhim Army’s Chandrasekhar Azad who spent 15 months in jail despite no evidence against him.
“The government wishes to brand Bhima Koregoan as Maoist event even when retired Supreme Court and High Court judges like PB Sawant and Kolse Patil have openly admitted to being the organisers. This is a BJP election gimmick to suppress dissent. Anand Teltumbde is a Dalit and if the rule of law prevails the Pune police should be prosecuted under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act,” Mevani said.
Siddharth Varadarajan, the editor of The Wire, called Teltumbde’s release only temporary relief and against deeming against calling his a victory. He added that fabricated cases, branding of people as “urban Naxals”, plot to assassinate Modi are all just concocted conspiracies. “It is no coincidence that just days ago efforts were made to revive cases against Kanhaiya Kumar during whose trial, no effort was spared to brand him anti-national. Fear-mongering is done deliberately to mislead people,” Varadarajan said.